This year Brooke and Brielle started with Aquatic Therapy (swimming). Our beginning goals for them were to get used to the feeling of being in the water, try to balance their bodies in the water with different types of floats, and lastly to get their faces wet.
They have both exceeded our expectations and it has only been a couple months! They are both little mermaids in the water and at the end of their session; they never want to get out of the water!! Their therapist has played with different floats and Brooke and Brielle have even been successful for a short time of swimming with just little arm floats on!! Incredible.
The next huge goal they have met is getting their faces wet. They didn’t like being splashed and it took Brielle longer to try “blowing bubbles” in the water. Brooke took to it pretty easily and likes to practice in the bathtub. Brielle on the other hand, didn’t really want much to do with it. She has her own plan of what she would like to do in the water… like make up dance routines on the stairs.
Once they both got comfortable with getting their faces wet - we did what I thought was the unthinkable and tried to get them to go under water! *gasp* To my surprise… they both have done it and keep asking to do it again, and again, and again! You HAVE to watch these videos. Once Brielle got the hang of holding her breath, we introduced Disney Princess (of course) goggles so she could see! WOW, that really struck a chord with her and now we can’t seem to keep her above the water! One day she got so brave, she wanted to touch the bottom of the pool with her foot. I decided to let her try and she absolutely loved it! After perfecting one foot, the other foot, both feet over and over again. She decided she wanted to try to SIT on the bottom of the pool. Whoa! She told me she is now ready for tea parties at the bottom of the pool. What a big girl! She is growing up way too fast.
Meanwhile, Brooke is not quite ready to touch the bottom with her feet! She is learning actual swim strokes (very basic of course) but none the less swimming!! She gets really excited about being in the water and I swear she could be in that pool ALL DAY LONG if I let her and she would be perfectly content. The one thing she needed to work on was keeping her mouth closed. She would keep her mouth open and get all the water in and try to swallow it and choke. Yuck! It’s taken a long time but she has finally mastered closing her mouth and spitting out the water that does get in there. Yay, Brooke! :) The physical therapist puts various types of floaties on and Brooke and swims the entire session around and around and around that pool… all by herself! I used to be so nervous about her and never, ever let go of her in the water! Now I feel that she has the confidence to swim all by herself (with the right floaties on of course!). She is not as confident about going under water like Brielle is so we’re going to give her as much time as she needs. She really likes to sit on the edge and have mommy “jump” her in so she is really close. I’m sure Brooke and Brielle will be having underwater tea parties in no time!
Brooke getting comfortable in the water:
Brielle’s first jump in:
Floating on her back:
Brielle touching the bottom on the pool with her foot and her therapist lets go!: